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Shoplifter escapes after getting chased down and tackled by Independence store clerk

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence store clerk put himself at risk trying to stop a guy who ripped off his store.

The thief managed to get away with nearly $1,000 worth of merchandise, but it wasn't a clean getaway.

Adam Stock, 22, said the man was acting very suspicious from the beginning, so when he took off without paying, Stock ran after him.

“He was in there for two hours after he selected the phones he wanted,” Stock said.

Police are looking for a man they say came into the Flea Mart off of 40-Highway in Independence recently and picked out a Sprint Galaxy 6 cell phone and a Verizon Note 5, among other items.

Surveillance footage of a suspected shoplifter

Surveillance footage of a suspected shoplifter

“Once he got to the counter, and was getting rung up, the total was around $1500,” Stock explained.

Stock said he was assisting a new cashier who bagged up the phones, youth size 7 Nike Airmax shoes, and other items, and placed them on the counter.

“When he ran his card, it ended up being declined, and before the new employee could see it was declined the guy took off running,” Stock said.

Stock said he yelled after him to stop, but he ran out of the store with the bags.

“I took off after him, and he was running up the hill toward Hy-Vee,” Stock added.

They ran through the Hy-Vee parking lot next door, and Stock was able to catch the man and tackle him to the ground.

“I was trying to just recover some merchandise, maybe like rip the plastic bag that he had, and hopefully some of the stuff would fall out,” Stock said.

He said he got a few items back, but the guy got away with most of it.

“While we were on the ground he did claw me in the face,” Stock said. “He took the motorcycle helmet that he had stolen, and tried to assault me with it.”

Stock said there was a gray Toyota Corolla with a female driver waiting for the suspect.

“He had a getaway driver waiting in the Hy-Vee parking lot, and they had opened the passenger door, and he jumped in,” Stock recalled.

He said in hindsight he probably shouldn`t have chased him, but now he's definitely more alert.

“It was adrenaline, kind of instinctual, I just wanted to do the right thing and stop him,” Stock said.

Police are still looking for the suspect, if you have any information or recognize the man in the picture, call Independence police or TIPS hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

Surveillance footage of a suspected shoplifter

Surveillance footage of a suspected shoplifter